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The Vinyl Countdown: Classic Rock Songs About Girls

Updated on February 25, 2015

20. Jimi Hendrix - The Wind Cries Mary

Jimi wrote this song in 1967 about his girlfriend Kathy Mary Etchingham. They had gotten into a fight over her cooking and so Jimi had this song completed when she got back from staying at a friends a few days later.


19. Buddy Holly - Peggy Sue

Holly wrote this song about Peggy Sue Gerron, who was dating the drummer of his band, The Crickets. Originally, it was to be called, "Cindy Lou," but Allison, the drummer, asked it to be changed.

18. Night Ranger - Sister Christian

This song was released in 1983. The bands drummer, Kelly Keagy, wrote this song about his younger sister who was coming of age.

17. Boston - Amanda

This was the first single after the band's seven year layoff, and ironically, it was their only #1 hit.


16. The Kinks - Lola

The Kinks released this song in 1970. This song is written about a transvestite and is believed to be inspired by Ray Davies alleged girlfriend, Candy Darling.

15. The Allman Brothers Band - Jessica

Jessica is the name of Dicky Betts' daughter, and the inspiration for the song. She was one year old when she crawled into the room while he was writing it. This tune is also the theme for British TV show, Top Gear.


14. The Beatles - Michelle

Released in 1965, this song wasn’t written about any woman in particular. They used the name Michelle because it went well with the song.

13. Billy Joel - All for Leyna

This song is off of Joel's 7th album, Glass Houses. It features a man obsessed over a girl he meets.

12. The Beatles - Lady Madonna

The Beatles released this song in 1968. Paul McCartney said that it was a tribute song to women of the world.

11. The Knack - My Sharona

This song is about an underage girl that Doug Fieger, lead singer of the band, quite liked. Even though he had a girlfriend and she had a boyfriend, he'd hit on Sharona at shows. Eventually, they were together for 4 years before she decided it was time she was her own Sharona, not somebody else's.

10. Simon & Garfunkel - Cecilia

Released in 1970, Simon & Garfunkel wrote this song about a couple that breaks up and gets back together.


9. Kiss - Beth

This song dates back to a band called Chelsea, where Kiss drummer Peter Criss wrote a song about a band member's annoying wife. The song was written almost word for word from Mike Brand's phone conversations.

8. The Beach Boys - Help Me Rhonda

The boys released this song in 1965. Despite the upbeat tempo, this song is about a guy who has a broken heart after a girl he was hoping to marry gets together with another guy.

7. Toto - Rosanna

This song got its name from the actress Rosanna Arquette, who was dating Steve Porcaro - Toto's keyboardist. It was written by Toto leader David Paich, who was always looking for good ideas for lyrics.

6. Aerosmith - Janie's Got a Gun

Aerosmith released this song in 1989. They wrote it about a girl who shoots her father because he’s sexually abusing her. Only a little messed up.


5. Rod Stewart - Maggie May

Rod wrote this song about his deflowering, from an older woman at a jazz music festival.

4. CCR - Proud Mary

This song was released in 1969. John Fogerty wrote this song about a domestic washerwoman on a paddle-wheel boat on the Mississippi River.

3. The Beach Boys - Barbara Ann

Fred Fassert wrote this song, and the Regents first recorded it in 1961. The Beach Boys didn't want to release it, as they found it too simplistic, but their record label did without telling them.

2. The Police - Roxanne

Released in 1978, this song is about a man falling in love with a prostitute. Sting was walking through the red-light district of Paris when he got inspired.

1. Derek and the Dominos - Layla

This song is about George Harrison's wife, Pattie. Clapton and Pattie had a secret relationship, and she felt like this song outed them. Ultimately, George was supportive of the two, and even played at their wedding with other Beatles members.



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    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 3 years ago from Orlando Florida

      Jersey Boys is on dvd. I saw it with a bunch of friends. We all loved it.

    • a beautiful mess profile image

      Alex Rose 3 years ago from Virginia

      Oh I love Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons!! So excellent. I'd love to see that movie!

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 3 years ago from Orlando Florida

      I just saw the movie Jersey Boys about a 50's group called The Four Seasons. It brought a lot of old songs back to mind. Like "Sherreeee, Won't You Come Out tonight. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. Voted up.

    • a beautiful mess profile image

      Alex Rose 3 years ago from Virginia

      We were going for songs with girls names in the title. Thanks for the comment!

    • Dylanexpert profile image

      John D. Baldwin 3 years ago from New York, New York

      A very good list. However, it would have been better if, rather than include songs about imaginary girls like "Michelle," you had filled the list only with songs inspired by *real* girls (like "The Wind Cries Mary"). Several examples of the latter songs that you missed are "Walk Away Renee," "Pretty Ballerina" and "She May Call You Up Tonight," all by The Left Banke, commemorating Michael Brown's crush on the girlfriend of fellow bandmember Tom Finn, the lovely Renee Fladen (who ultimately ditched Finn), and The Clash's "Train in Vain," inspired by Mick Jones' frustration with his girlfriend at the time, Viv Albertine of The Slits.